GACA  reviews the key achievements of the Saudi Aviation Strategy during the Riyadh Economic Forum

February 26, 2024

In a speech given at the Riyadh Economic Forum’s third economic symposium, Mohammed Al-Khuraisi of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), reviewed the key achievements of the Saudi Aviation Strategy.

Al-Khurasi, who is an engineer and executive vice president of strategy and business intelligence with GACA, stated that that the Saudi Aviation Strategy aims for the Kingdom’s aviation sector to become the foremost aviation sector in the Middle East region as part of its efforts to achieve the goals of Saudi Vision 2030.

In his speech, Al-Khuraisi reviewed the main objectives of the Saudi Aviation Strategy, which include increasing air connectivity to more than 250 destinations through 29 airports, developing the infrastructure and operational capacity of airports, increasing the local market share of low-cost airlines, and enhancing the competitiveness of national carriers. In addition, the strategy aims to enable fair competition and competitive prices globally, and to establish regulatory frameworks for operations at the international and local levels.

Al-Khuraisi explained that the aviation sector in the Kingdom has made great progress towards achieving these goals, as the Kingdom jumped 14 places in the IATA Air Connectivity Index in 2023, during which year it achieved its highest level of air connectivity yet, reaching 149 destinations. Also in 2023, the total number of flights reached 815, 000, including charter flights and air cargo flights, while the number of passengers reached 112 million.

Al-Khuraisi added that Riyadh Air’s launch was announced last year. The group has purchased 72 aircraft so far, in addition to requesting 100 aircraft to expand the Flynas fleet. Saudi Airlines also added 73 aircraft to its fleet.

Regarding airport developments, Al-Khuraisi said: “General plans for developing or expanding several airports have been approved, including King Salman International Airport, King Abdulaziz International Airport and Abha International Airport. In addition, special logistics areas in Riyadh will be launched, and plans are underway to launch similar areas in Jeddah and Dammam.

He continued by saying: “The services aspect of the aviation sector has seen great developments, following the liberalization of the sector with new competitors entering the field. The ground handling company SATS has begun working in three different airports. Also, a maintenance, repair and renewal area has been set up in Jeddah, which will benefit the Saudi Technology Company.

Al-Khuraisi stressed that GACA, in its efforts to achieve all these goals, has carried out a number of major reforms to encourage investment in the sector. These reforms include reviewing economic regulations in air transport services, airports, ground handling and air freight, launching new regulations to protect customers inside the Kingdom, and reviewing airport fees. Through the main airports in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam, the sector’s continued success is expected for the coming years, and, according to Al-Khuraisi, it is on track to fully achieve all the goals of the Saudi Aviation Strategy.

Related Images